I often get asked how to best store luxury leather handbags. My way of storing handbags isn’t the only way. How you store your bags often comes down to available space and furniture arrangements.
Before storing your bag. Before you put a bag away after using it, wipe it over with fragrance-free and alcohol-free baby wipes. This will remove any accumulated dirt from the bag and prevent any staining to the leather. Before you put the bag away, let it air-dry after you wipe it down.
Storage environment. Store handbags in a dry, dark and ventilated space. I store my handbags on the top shelf of my wardrobe. This is the best environment to store bags as it allows the leather to breathe and prevents colour fade and degradation from light exposure. Also, humidity and leather do not mix well. Humidity can cause the leather to mold and glazed interiors to peel. If you live in a humid environment consider installing a dehumidifier. Many people store their bags in open or glass display cabinets. Depending on the room, this may cause the bags to be subject to excessive and ongoing light exposure, or not allow the leather to properly breathe in enclosed cabinets.
Boxes and dust bags. These also affect a bag’s immediate environment. My practice is to store my bags in dust bags but never in boxes. A handbag in a dust bag will be protected from dust accumulation and will still be able to breathe. However, storing bags in a box prevents the circulation of air and can cause the leather to deteriorate over time.
Stuffing handbags. This is a nice to have, but not usually a need to have. My practice is to only stuff bags that do not have a robust structure, such as totes and hobo bags. I do not usually stuff bags which are structured. I do not have any particular view as to what a handbag should be stuffed with. I tend to use fabric or tissue paper, as opposed to bubble-wrap, so as to encourage ventilation inside the bag.
Folding handbags. Many Louis Vuitton bags are designed to be folded flat and stored. Make sure that when you fold a Louis Vuitton bag you do it correctly to avoid unnecessary folds in the leather. For example, the sides of a Keepall or Speedy should be folded underneath the bag and not folded into themselves. The sides should also be folded underneath (as opposed to on top of the bag) to avoid any transfer of the glazing on the handles onto the monogram canvas.
Spacing. I store my bags standing next to each other. Make sure there is a bit of space between each bag to allow the air to circulate between them. Giving each bag some space also prevents them from getting squashed and losing shape.
Review and conditioning. Every couple of months I take my bags out and check them over to make sure they have not molded or deteriorated. I also wipe them with fragrance-free and alcohol-free baby wipes and treat them with a quality leather conditioner such as Cadillac brand of Apple brand leather conditioner. Once the bags have air-dried, I re-house them. Reviewing your collection also allows you to consider which bags you use and wish to keep. If you haven’t used a bag in a while, consider why you don’t use it, and perhaps move it on.